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No doubt you’ve seen the headlines regarding the recent tragic deaths of several children as a result of contracting Strep A. Understandably, parents and carers are worried. To help alleviate any anxiety, the healthcare experts are here to answer your most common questions about the infection and explain what symptoms you should look out for. Arming yourself with this information means that if your child should fall ill, you can get them the medical help they need, which could just save their life.
What is Strep A?
Strep A is an infection caused by a highly contagious bacterium called Streptococcus Pyogenes that can live on the skin and in the throat. For some people, it can be completely harmless, but unfortunately in others it can lead to Invasive Group A Streptococcal Infection (iGAS), which occurs when the infection enters the bloodstream, and can prove to be fatal.
It is spread through coughs and sneezes, and can therefore spread quickly where people are in close proximity to each other, such as schools or care homes.
What are the symptoms of Strep A?
The key things to look out for include:
What are the warning signs that Strep A has developed into iGAS?
If your child displays these symptoms, it is essential that you seek medical help immediately. Strep A can be treated with antibiotics.
What is causing the increase in serious cases amongst children this year?
Whilst healthcare experts don’t have any definitive answers at the moment, the high number of cases is likely the result of a combination of factors, including a high amount of circulating bacteria, an increase in social mixing compared to previous years during covid restrictions, a lack of immunity due to lack of exposure, as well as an increase in other respiratory viruses.
What precautionary measures are being taken to limit Strep A outbreaks?
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has recommended that local health teams prescribe penicillin or an alternative antibiotic to all children in a year group that has been hit by a case of the infection.
Who can I talk to about my child’s health and wellbeing?
If you have any worries about the health and wellbeing of your child, speak to YourGP. Simply email email@example.com or call us on 0131 225 5656 to arrange your appointment. We are open six days a week and offer extended appointments, enabling you to discuss any concerns in depth and giving you real peace of mind that your child’s health is in safe hands.
The best place in Edinburgh for private GP services (I have tried several). Very professional practice management able to answer any queries in a very timely manner. The nurse, Lynn is very knowledgeable and caring, able to put not only me but also my three months old son at ease. I am very happy with the service I have received.